The three states -- Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand -- where the existing, as well as new entrants are busy charting out their business strategies, seem to be working in favour of the Hindi press. In the three states, the total readership of Hindi dailies has recorded the maximum growth in this quarter -- a collective gain of 7.86 lakh readers in IRS 2011 Q1.
Uttar Pradesh, where the readership of Hindi dailies is the highest (at 4.24 crore readers) is the biggest gainer in this quarter. Though the state has registered a growth rate of only 3 per cent, it has added a total readership (TR) of 3.87 lakh in this quarter -- the highest for any Hindi speaking state.
The last four years have seen a series of launches for Hindustan, beginning with Meerut in February 2006, Agra in July, and Kanpur in August of the same year. The Dehradun edition was launched in May 2008, the Allahabad edition in January, and the Bareilly edition in October 2009. In fact, the daily has added 62.46 lakh readers in the state since R1, 2009, the biggest gain by any Hindi publication in UP during the period.
The No. 1 daily of UP, as well as the country, Dainik Jagran, has lost marginally since R1, 2009 -- a loss of 28,000 readers. However, the daily has registered an increase in total readership of 2.72 lakh this quarter.
The No. 2 daily of the state, Amar Ujala, with a total readership of 2.46 crore, has added 15.38 lakh readers since R1, 2009 and 2.27 lakh readers in this quarter (IRS 2011 Q1). Additionally, Amar Ujala launched an edition from Noida in February; the edition caters to the cities of Haryana that fall under the National Capital Region (NCR), including Faridabad, Gurgaon, Mewal and Palwal.
Jharkhand, which has the highest growth rate of Hindi dailies (22 per cent), is the second biggest gainer this time. With Hindi penetration at 32.23 per cent, the state has seen a lot of action, lately. Right from Dainik Bhaskar's entry to the existing dailies strengthening their presence, these activities led to a growth rate of 18 per cent and a gain of 13 lakh readers since R1, 2009.
Hindustan is the No. 1 daily in Jharkhand, and the biggest gainer since R1, 2009. The daily, with a total readership of 53.94 lakh, has grown at the rate of 38 per cent since R1, 2009 -- a gain of 16.30 lakh readers.
The No. 2 and No. 3 dailies of the state -- Prabhat Khabar and Dainik Jagran -- have also registered a growth rate of 27 per cent and 17 per cent respectively, since R1, 2009. However, in this quarter, while Prabhat Khabar has added 1.02 lakh readers in the state, Dainik Jagran has lost close to a lakh readers.
In Bihar, the total readership of Hindi dailies has increased from 1.58 crore to 1.72 crore since R1, 2009 -- the maximum gain in readership of the Hindi press (a gain of 14.72 lakh readers) during the period. In this quarter, the Hindi press in the state has added a total readership of 1.75 lakh.
The No. 1 Hindi daily of the state, Hindustan, is the second biggest gainer -- registering an increase of 2.61 lakh readers in this quarter and 14.73 lakh since R1, 2009. Dainik Jagran is the bigger gainer, recording a gain of 3.49 lakh readers in this quarter. Prabhat Khabar, which launched two editions from the state (Muzzafarpur and Bhagalpur), has added 1.15 lakh readers in this quarter in Bihar.
Other growing markets
Hindi dailies in Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, and Delhi & Urban Environs have grown marginally -- with an increase of 46,000, 4,000, 2,000 and 1,000 readers, respectively. Hindi dailies in Delhi & Urban Environs have lost the maximum readership since R1, 2009, registering a loss of 5 lakh readers -- a de-growth of 6 per cent.
Except for Navbharat Times (the No. 1 Hindi daily of Delhi), Naidunia, Rashtriya Sahara and Punjab Kesari, which registered marginal growth, all the other Hindi dailies in Delhi, including Amar Ujala, Haribhoomi, Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhaskar, Hindustan, Rajasthan Patrika, Business Standard (Hindi), DLA, Aaj Samaj and Dainik Tribune, have lost readership this time.
The declining markets
Hindi dailies in Rajasthan have recorded a loss in total readership of 3.12 lakh in IRS 2011 Q1. However, since R1, 2009, the Hindi press has added 4.18 lakh readers in the state, thus taking the growth rate of the Hindi press in Rajasthan to 2 per cent. All the dailies in the state, including Rajasthan Patrika, Dainik Bhaskar and others have recorded declines in readership in this quarter.
However, since R1, 2009, Rajasthan Patrika, Dainik Bhaskar and Punjab Kesari have added TR of 5.46 lakh, 4.25 lakh and 61,000, respectively.
Hindi dailies in Punjab have lost about one lakh in total readership in this quarter. Like Rajasthan, all the Hindi dailies in Punjab, including Punjab Kesari, Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhaskar, Amar Ujala and Dainik Tribune, have recorded a decline in readership this time. Despite that, Punjab Kesari and Dainik Tribune have registered growths since R1, 2009 (1 lakh and 28,000 readers, respectively).
Chandigarh, Uttaranchal and Chhattisgarh have also registered a marginal decline of 12,000, 18,000 and 67,000, readers, respectively this time.
(Total readership includes any reader who has read any of the last six issues; whereas average issue readership includes only readers who have read the last issue.)